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Ancient Egypt

Tutankhamun's tomb

Inside Tutankhamun's tombInside Tutankhamun's tomb Pharaoh Tutankhamun died aged only 19. The shrines enclosing the stone sarcophagus where his coffin was placed were fitted into the burial chamber inside his tomb. The other chambers were filled with goods and treasures that the pharaoh might need in the Afterlife. It was intended, of course, for the pharaoh’s mummy to lie inside his tomb for ever. But the abundance of gold and jewellery would usually attract robbers—probably within only a few years of the pharaoh’s burial. But, incredibly, after two early break-ins, during which few treasures was stolen, Tutankhamun’s tomb remained undisturbed for more than 3000 years until it was discovered in 1922. Inside the tomb were statues, furniture, jewellery and many other precious items left exactly as they had been placed all those centuries before.

Carter opens the doors to Tutankhamun's shrineCarter opens the doors to Tutankhamun's shrine

Discovering the tomb

On 4th November 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter, who was carrying out excavation work in the Valley of the Kings, discovered steps that he hoped would lead down to Tutankhamun's tomb (later given the official name KV62). He sent a message to the man who funded the expedition, Lord Caernarvon, to come to Egypt.

On 26th November, accompanied by Caernarvon and his daughter Lady Evelyn Herbert, Carter chiselled a small hole in the doorway to the tomb and peered in. Caernarvon asked him, "Can you see anything?”. Carter, who caught a glimpse of gold treasures by the light of a candle, replied, “Yes, wonderful things!"

The body of Tutankhamun still lies in his burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings.

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